AusGamers is sitting in the historic LA Theatre for Ubisoft's pre-E3 event, typing up info as it comes to us (so keep hitting refresh for all the deets as we get them). Last year we were graced by the presence of James Cameron who spoke directly to us about Avatar for almost an hour, let's see if they top that experience this year.
5:00pm LA time:
Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi is demonstrating his new Rez-like game on Kinect. It looks and plays brilliantly. Totally free-form and perfectly suited to Kinect. It's called Child of Eden.
"Games You Can Feel" is Ubi's theme for the press event.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - 1503 Rome, watching a new cinematic trailer. Ezio is older and more mature now. He has four other companions with him. The ongoing struggle between the Assassin's brotherhood and the Templars is escalating. We're now watching gameplay...
Ezio is in the middle of 'sexy time', but is rudely interrupted by cannon balls through his window. He leaps out and into the city, which is under attack. There's incredible destruction going on all around him. There's no HUD, and we see him leap from on high right onto the back of his horse. You can now take your horse into cities to "fully maximise them". He reaches the city walls and mans a cannon to take out the invading forces. Apparently there will be heaps of new "memorable" gameplay moments like this.
Moving on to attacking AI more personally. We're being told there are more combat moves to allow for fighting multiple targets. AI is more aggressive now, too. Some of his new finishers are brutal - he stabs enemies in the face with the tip of his sword, cleaves a giant guy in two, shoots people in face at point blank range and actually throws a battle axe at a target knocking him on his back, dead. Very awesome. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood demo over.
Now we move onto Shaun White Skateboarding, with Shaun White out on stage.
The game has been a couple of years in the making, according to White. Nick Harper, the Creative Director comes out with Game Designer, Alexisin in tow. "Everything is an opportunity," says Harper of the skateboarding game-world they've created. The world is devoid of life, and everything is basically black and white because of some group called "The Ministry". The goal then is to inject life into the world by skating. You can do something called "Shaping" that basically allows you to create your own line, completely unique to you. Shaun explains that you can go back and reshape any time you like, and every time you do, the game-world transforms to reflect the line you just did.
It's all very over-the-top, much like Tony Hawk games of yesteryear. We see the Shaun White avatar perform his signature move, the "Armadillo". Not sure how it controls (if it's button inputs or the Skate "Flickit" system. So stay tuned for our hands on later in the week. Demo over.
Everything goes a bit silly now, with a bunch of people running around playing "Battle Tag", which is essentially Laser Tag. The game's creator, Gael Seydoux, comes out to explain that this is a combination of the aforementioned and a shooter. He's wearing a vest that is linked to a handgun. He explains that there are extra pieces, such as virtual ammo (you need to reload your weapon). At the moment, I'm not sure what platform this is on, but the idea is that you're not bound to a console or a screen or anything, however, there is a system that keeps score. You can play with up to eight people, and there's gameplay dictated by the "Game Master".
Tommy Francois now comes up on-stage to talk about "Innergy", and new concept that sees his game help people deal with stress. He pulls out a laptop and then puts a sensor on our presenter's finger who now has to perform breathing exercises while following a cute animated bubble thing on-screen. This sensory system can be plugged into basically any computer, so you can utilise it anywhere. This thing is pretty weird, but seems to have good, positive applications. Stay tuned for more once we check it out on the show floor.
Now we're watching a collection of thoughts from various Ubisoft designers about the shift in gaming from using a controller to really getting your whole body into the game. This is affirmation Ubi are pretty much all the way in on Kinect, Move and Wii, plus the new accessories and games we've seen throughout their presentation. This is also a lead in to two new games they're revealing for Kinect...
Motion Sports is the name of one, and it's essentially Ubisoft's version of Kinect Sports. We saw American Football, real Football, Skiing and it all looks pretty standard and just what you'd expect from Kinect and these kinds of games.
The second game is Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, which we saw in the Microsoft Press Briefing
It's time for Rabbids with Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time for Wii. This video is pretty funny, but all pre-rendered.
Now we're looking at Ghost Recon: Future War...
Producer Adrian Lacey and Game Designer Rafael Morado come out to talk about the game after we watch a short pre-rendered trailer. They don't waste tiome and get into a live demo of the game. It kicks off in Norther Europe, which is utterly decimated. You have a new device called the Cross Com that utilises satellites in orbit to feed you live data about the battlefield. The soldiers have full light-bending camo (ie invisible suits). Just saw an awesome bit where the soldier snuck up behind a guy sitting at a gunning post, he shots him in the back of the head, but crouches behind him and keeps him sitting up so a patrol walking by doesn't notice he's dead. The first portion of the demo finishes with the Ghosts closing in on their target (who they need to take alive) - he has four guys with him, so they're [Ghosts] all in position, and the HUD shows that each of your guys has a clear headshot at entourage. When you're ready, you take out your target without killing him, while the other guys clean up the rest.
Next bit of the demo shows a different perspective; the Ghosts are holed up in a building so they have a more vertical look at the battlefield and can essentially control the combat and chaos. Case in point, a chopper is bringing in support and has a ground vehicle tethered to it, shoot the pilot in the head and the chopper, and its payload are now essentially on your side. Very, very cool. Four-player online co-op, which we'll see on the show floor, so stay tuned.
Martin Edmondson, Creative Director of Driver San Francisco comes out to talk Driver...
Over 100 licensed cars, all supporting full damage models. He talks about how they've gone back to the series' roots, specifically San Francisco. We see a brand new gameplay feature called "shift" which allows you, at any time, to jump out of whatever car you're in and look at the game-world from a bird's-eye-view and jump into any
car on the road, as quickly and seamlessly as you like. Multiplayer is a big factor too, but we won't see that until we get onto the show floor.
Yves Guillemont comes out now and we're looking at in-game footage of Project DUST, which looks very cool. It looks like it's on PC and features little native avatars on an alien planet. They work directly with the elements, but something is going on with their planet, which seems like it's going to be the gameplay hook.
Next up we see the return of Rayman in Rayman Origins, which looks super, super, super cool. It's a simple side-scrolling platformer that has been worked on by only five people. Artistically it looks incredible, but there's no mention of any specific platform. It would likely be digitally distributed though via the likes of Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, WiiWare, Steam etc.
Mania Planet is revealed next which is essentially a social community for Track Mania where you can share your track designs and Track Mania experiences.
The final reveal is Michael Jackson and Ubisoft... and really, we don't actually know what it is. A bunch of dancers rock out to "Beat It" and they're amazing, but no info other than that (my guess is a Kinect dance title).
That's it folks, show's over. Stick around though, because E3 has only just begun!